Monday, August 31, 2009

27) Gentiles were included in the New Covenant

Acts 14:27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.

God brought the new covenant church to the Gentiles through faith. While the old covenant was made with the physical nation of Israel, the new covenant was brought to every tongue, tribe, and nation. God’s plan of redemption from the foundation of the world was for Jesus Christ to redeem a people for himself by providing them atonement for their sin debt and His righteousness for their justification.

Focus on Christ #27

Sunday, August 30, 2009

26) The Church of Jesus Christ began at Pentecost

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Whether the rock to which Jesus refers is Peter or his profession, it is clear that Jesus is speaking of his church as a future event. The nation of Israel was not the church. Although there was a remnant saved during the old covenant era, the church of Jesus Christ began at Pentecost.

Focus on Christ #26

Saturday, August 29, 2009

25) Jesus made the old covenant obsolete

Hebrews 8:13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

The old Mosaic covenant was a legal conditional covenant made with the physical nation of Israel only. It has been replaced with the new covenant, which is an unconditional gracious covenant made with believers from Israel plus every nation, tongue, and tribe on earth. The gospel of grace, which was preached to Abraham [Galatians 3:8], has been fulfilled by Jesus who is the mediator and guarantor of a more excellent and permanent covenant.

Focus on Christ #25

Friday, August 28, 2009

24) New Covenant members receive forgiveness

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

The sins of new covenant members are forgiven through their faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus as the Lamb of God secured the blessings and suffered the penalty of the old covenant on behalf of all who come to him in faith. Praise God that Christians are no longer under law, but are under new covenant grace.

Focus on Christ #24

Thursday, August 27, 2009

23) All members of the New Covenant are saved

Hebrews 8:11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

This verse affirms the new covenant is made with believers only. The new covenant is comprised of regenerated believers from both Israel and all other nations. The old covenant was made with the physical nation of Israel and most were NOT spiritually redeemed. Only a remnant of the nation of Israel was redeemed [Romans 9:27]. THE DISTINCTION: The old covenant was with a single physical nation, while the new is with regenerated believers of all nations.

Focus on Christ #23

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

22) The New Covenant applied through regeneration

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

After the old covenant days, God promised a new covenant with the house of Israel, and in Ephesians 2:11-22 Paul explained that Gentiles would be brought into this new covenant. In the new covenant the laws, precepts, and ethics of God are written into the minds and hearts of His people. This is a reference to regeneration that makes believers spiritually alive and able to respond to God. It is about giving believers the motivation and ability to obey God and not just giving them the content of law that was written on tablets of stone. These regenerated believers will be the people of God with hearts of flesh rather than hearts of stone. This is grace and it enables believers through the power of the Holy Spirit to desire to be obedient to the commands of Christ [Romans 8:14].

Focus on Christ #22

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

21) The New Covenant replaced the Old Covenant

Hebrews 8:9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.

The new covenant is not like the old covenant made at Mt. Sinai. It is a completely new and that is why Paul can say in Romans that believers are not under law but under grace. Israel was a chosen physical nation with many privileges and blessings, but it was not a spiritually redeemed nation as Paul points out in Romans 9:8. Since they did not continue in the old covenant, God showed no concern for them. [for more see first comment]

Focus on Christ #21

Monday, August 24, 2009

20) The New Covenant

Hebrews 8:8 For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

Hebrews 8:8-12 repeats what the prophet Jeremiah stated in Jeremiah 31:31-34. The book of Hebrews interprets this new covenant through the ministry of Jesus Christ who was declared prophet, priest, and king with power. In the passage above, it was prophesized that a new covenant would be established with Israel. This new covenant is not a different administration of the same covenant, but a NEW covenant that replaced the Mosaic covenant.

Focus on Christ #20

Sunday, August 23, 2009

19) Jesus fulfilled the Law to redeem His people

Matthew 5:17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Jesus is the promised redeemer of the Old Testament prophecies. He perfectly fulfilled the law of Moses to provide righteousness for his people and He died on the cross of Calvary to make atonement for their sin. Believers take hold of this redemption through faith alone.

Focus on Christ #19

Saturday, August 22, 2009

18) The final outcome

Romans 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

In this verse Paul states the results of the mindset of unbelievers verses believers. For unbelievers the outcome will be physical and spiritual death. For believers the outcome is eternal life and peace. Believers not only have peace with God, but also peace of mind. Physical death is nothing but a door from physical life to spiritual life. Death has no sting for believers.

Focus on Christ #18

Friday, August 21, 2009

17) It is all in the mind

Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

Paul is making a clear distinction between believers and unbelievers. The difference in this verse is what they have their minds set on. The unbeliever is interested in temporal worldly things that do not last. The believer’s mind and focus is on spiritual things that are eternal.

Focus on Christ #17

Thursday, August 20, 2009

16) Jesus purchases redemption and changes hearts

Romans 8:4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

The righteous requirements of the law have been fulfilled in believers because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ who perfectly upheld the law of Moses. Believers are in Christ through faith and are distinguished from unbelievers because they walk according to the Spirit. The character and life style Christians verses non-Christians are contrasted in this verse.

Focus on Christ #16

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

15) Jesus paid it all

Romans 8:3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,

Due to the sin nature inherited from Adam, human beings could not meet the legal requirements of the Mosaic Law. However, God provided through His son, Jesus Christ, a second Adam who met the laws demands and condemned sin on the cross of Calvary! Jesus provided the righteousness and also paid the sin debt of all who are in him through faith.

Focus on Christ #15

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

14) Christians are free from Old Covenant Law

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

The grace of God through Jesus Christ and the Spirit has set Christians free from the Mosaic Law. New Covenant Christians are free from the legal requirements of the law because Jesus Christ fulfilled them all on their behalf. Christians are saved from the law of sin and death through faith in Christ.

Focus on Christ #14

Monday, August 17, 2009

13) Christians in Christ are eternally secure

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Christians are eternally secure from the condemnation that results from sin due to being covered by the righteousness of Christ. Jesus Christ fulfilled the Mosaic Covenant on behalf of everyone who is in union with Him by faith.

Focus on Christ #13

Sunday, August 16, 2009

12) Christians are not under Old Covenant law

Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

New Covenant believers are led by the Spirit and their sanctification is powered by the Holy Spirit. They are NOT under the law for justification or sanctification. Under Christ, the new lawgiver, all of the principles for Christian obedience and discipleship are stated in the New Testament. Several of the ten commandments have been enhanced and made stronger by Jesus.

Focus on Christ #12

Saturday, August 15, 2009

11) The law of Moses has been abolished

2 Corinthians 3:11 And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

The law of Moses has been abolished! The New Covenant, grace, and the Spirit has replaced the law of Moses, which has faded away. Jesus Christ as prophet, priest, and king is the more excellent lawgiver that replaced Moses as prophet and Aaron as priest. We should look to Jesus and not Moses for our sanctification.

Focus on Christ #11

Friday, August 14, 2009

10) Physical descent does not determine the children of God

Romans 9:8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

The true spiritual seed of Abraham are not ethnic Jews, but the children of the promise. Therefore, only those who come to personal faith in Jesus [the elect] are the redeemed spiritual seed of Abraham and not the physical seed of Jews or Christians.

Focus on Christ #10

Thursday, August 13, 2009

9) The New Covenant replaced the Old Covenant

2 Corinthians 3:7-8 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?

The ten commandments [ministry of death] was put in place by God to convict sinners of their guilt. The law covenant was not a gracious covenant given to a redeemed people for their sanctification! It was a legal covenant that Christ fulfilled and brought to an end. The New Covenant and the more glorious ministry of the Spirit replaced the old law covenant.

Focus on Christ #9

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

8) Believers uphold the law by being in Christ by faith

Romans 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Through faith in Christ, believers are united to him and His finished work of upholding the law. Therefore, by being in Christ believers uphold the law through union with Christ and participate in the promised blessings of the law. Apart from Christ, sinners are condemned by the law.

Focus on Christ #8

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

7) It is faith that overcomes

1 John 5:4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Overcoming and conquering do not come from self-effort and law keeping. It is faith that overcomes the world, and it is faith that conquers and receives the eternal blessings. The power required for overcoming through faith comes from God, and not from self-examination and greater human effort. Do not look in the mirror. Look to Christ!

Focus on Christ #7

Monday, August 10, 2009

6) There is power in the blood of Christ

1 Corinthians 11:25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

The new covenant is sealed by the blood of Christ who obtained the blessings promised under the old covenant by fulfilling all of its demands. These blessings are realized through faith in Christ and not by attempting to keep old covenant law.

Focus on Christ #6

Sunday, August 9, 2009

5) The New Covenant delivers eternal life

Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.

Since the law covenant was powerless to save anyone, God planned before the foundation of the world for his only begotten son to be the mediator of a second covenant and give eternal life as a gift to all who believe in him. The remnant who believed God in the Old Testament were saved by the redemption that is in Jesus Christ just as New Covenant believers.

Focus on Christ #5

Saturday, August 8, 2009

4) Christ is the mediator of a better ministry

Hebrews 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.

New Covenant believers should look to Christ and his ministry where his better promises give believers grace, life, and the Holy Spirit. Looking backward past Christ to the old covenant produces bondage, sin, and despair.

Focus on Christ #4

Friday, August 7, 2009

3) Stand Firm In Christ

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Christ set us free from the Mosaic covenant by perfectly fulfilling it and Christians should stand firm and not submit to this yoke of slavery.

Focus on Christ #3

Thursday, August 6, 2009

2) Look to Christ not to the law!

Acts 15:10-11 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”

The yoke refers to the Old Law Covenant written on tablets of stone. New covenant believers should look to Christ and grace rather than the ministry of death! Christians should not allow this yoke to be placed upon their necks.

Focus on Christ #2

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

1) Keep your eyes upon Christ

Hebrews 9:15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

As new covenant believers let us look to Christ, grace, and the Holy Spirit rather than put on the yoke of the law of sin and death!

Focus on Christ #1